The poem "Mistah Please Take Back Yoh Daughter" is from Jose Patrick Gimenez's book "Virgin Islands Folklore and Other Poems" published in 1933. Gimenez wrote in English, Spanish and West Indian dialect. The language used varied based on the topic of his writing and the intended audience. José Patrick Gimenez (1893-1953) was born in St. Thomas on March 17, 1893. He was a poet and composer. He had many popular songs, wrote several books, was a great public speaker, a merchant, and a correspondent for the Puerto Rico Herald. (Source: Profiles of Outstanding Virgin Islands)
Primary Sources in this Activity
Suggested Teaching Instructions
Analyze the Primary Source
Analyze the Poem:
Who wrote it?
Who read it?
What is the poem talking about?
What resources could you use to learn more about Virgin Islands dialects and languages?
Have students read “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is” by James Baldwin, available at https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/98/03/29/specials/baldwin-english.html (Accessed on 3/12/2022). Have a classroom discussion about the article and ask students to use what they learned in the article to discuss Virgin Islands dialect.